The RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) is a development of the RIM-7 Sea Sparrow missile used to protect ships from attacking missiles, aircraft and surface threats. ESSM is designed to counter supersonic maneuvering anti-ship missiles. Compared to the Sea Sparrow, ESSM has a larger, more powerful rocket motor for increased range and agility, as well as upgraded aerodynamics using strakes and skid-to-turn. In addition, ESSM takes advantage of the latest missile guidance technology, with different versions for Aegis/SPY-1, Sewaco/APAR, and traditional target illumination all-the-way. ESSM also has the ability to be "quad-packed" in the Mk 41 VLS system, allowing up to four ESSMs to be carried in a single cell.
ESSM will be used by many allied countries. The first country to achieve operational status for ESSM after the United States was Australia. Other countries which have also integrated the ESSM are Canada, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Japan, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway. Countries in the process of integrating ESSM are New Zealand, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates.
|RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM)|
|Type||Medium-range surface-to-air missile|
|Place of origin||United States|
|In service||February 2004 aboard USS Chafee |
|Used by||Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Turkey and the US|
|Produced||September 1998- 1000th missile delivered 25 August 2009|
|Weight||620 lb (280 kg)|
|Length||12 ft (3.66 m)|
|Diameter||10 in (254 mm)|
|Warhead||86 lb (39 kg) blast-fragmentation|
|Engine||Mk 143 Mod 0 solid fuel rocket |
|27+ nm (50+ km)|
|Midcourse datalink |
Terminal semi-active radar homing
|Mk 41 VLS (RIM-162A/B)|
Mk 48 VLS (RIM-162C)
Mk 29 box launcher (RIM-162D)
In addition to the Mk 41 VLS system, the other primary launcher is Mk 48 VLS. The 2-cell module of Mk-48 makes the system very versatle, enables it to be installed onboard in spaces that is otherwise cannot be utilized. The weight of a 2-cell module of Mk-48 is 1,450 pounds (with empty canisters), 725 pounds for exhaust system, and 800 pounds for ship installation interfaces. Each canister of the Mk-48 VLS houses a single RIM-162 ESSM, though with modification, other missiles can also be launched.